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Thread: Why do guilds fail?

  1. #1

    Why do guilds fail?

    So this is the question, what are the top reasons guilds fail?

    What is your opinions?

    Post your thoughts below.

  2. #2
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    I'm not sure I can think of 10, here's some of the most obvious ones from both my experience and reading others:

    - Bad leadership. Often born from the leader of the guild being somebody who thinks they should be a leader (ie. self important) but lacks any of the skills to do so, such as being able to deal with people, organizing all of the necessity of a guild or possessing a high level of knowledge of the game.

    - Bad management. Partially linked to the above, a lot of guild can have poor officers/leadership that fails to give the guild direction. A lot of the important positions in the guild are given to people who are the closest friends of the leadership but don't possess the necessary skills to do their job (like class leaders who aren't that good at their class). I made it a separate reason to the above because a guild can always have a fairly decent leader but a couple of judgment errors in terms of creating his/her support team could result in a rift between either them and their officers or their guildies. The opposite is also true, but generally in these cases the leader is ditched and a new guild is formed with relative ease.

    - Poor recruitment pool. This could either be a low pop server or just a general shortage of skilled player in a certain class. In TBC a good example alliance side was getting enough good resto shamans. Although class balance isn't as tight anymore, a guild could have problems if they're stuck in a perpetual state of healer shortage, for example.

    - Summer. Although the majority of players can commit to a schedule over summer, there can often be a significantly damaging amount of player who won't bother over summer. This is a more crucial issue when the guild isn't doing so well and these players take the chance to jump the boat or dodge wipe nights for several months. The shortage cannot be covered by recruitment either because everyone else is in a similar boat.

    - Poor players. Both presently and new recruits. A guild can go through many trials and they could all be terrible. This in turn can produce a knock on effect of demoralizing the better players and some may stop playing/ leave which again means gaps are plugged by poor players or not at all. A large portion of poor players already in guild can dissuade new recruits that are joining your guild, preventing you from increasing you good player - bad player ratio and be stuck in a never ending cycle.

    - Crap stirrers. Related to poor players but a crap stirrer won't always be a crap player. Generally if you have one or two people in a guild who get uppity about things or occasionally have arguments with other players it's not much of a problem, but if you get 4 or 5 regularly in a raid you're bound to get people getting rubbed the wrong way constantly. This will cause people to leave and likewise, will cause new recruits to leave during a trial.

    - Cliques. This often happens when the remnants of two guild merge for better or worse. A lot of cliques can be generally harmless but if friction develops somehow, usually early on, by an argument between two members of separate cliques or an obvious completly opposing opinion on how things should be go between the two then a guild can quickly divide.

    - Bad Rules. Partially related to leadership but won't always be just attributed to the leader. If a looting method and other rules that are set up in a guild are not fair or encouraging then players can get disheartened. Likewise certain rules can be a big catalyst for regular arguments, which in turn break down the morale of the guild.

    - Lack of challenge. Quite often before an expansion people may take a sabbatical because there isn't much left to do, particularly if a guild has all content cleared. This could cause inactivity that prevents raiding and therefore the raider who are left may leave and condemn the guild. Similarly, if a large part of the guild's goal is to do hard modes but there's never the time or the skilled/geared players to allow it to do so, these players may tire of farming normals after a while and seek out challenges elsewhere.

    - Unforeseen circumstances. Your MTs could be sick for long periods or there could be real life issues preventing even your leader(s) from being around. A guild that is unable to continue without a few players can be crippled by their absence.

    Spelling corrected because I'm OCD like that sometimes- Pen

    - good job, cause I make plenty of typos when hammering out a wall of text and cba to correct - X
    Last edited by Xianth; 12-31-2009 at 05:54 AM.
    Xanth <Valkyria>

  3. #3
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    Now that's a great post. I can't refute a word of it, and I can't think of anything positive to add.
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  4. #4
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    You left out loot whores though. Unless I accidentally missed it.
    "If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots." -Neil deGrasee Tyson

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  5. #5
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    Xanith hit the nail on the head.

    Highlights per my experience since 2004:

    -Leadership: If they are absentee, lazy, uninspiring, or greedy/selfish.
    -Raiders: See above.
    -Drama un-related to the above. Not quite as common in my exp. But certainly appears often enough to watch out for. Keep the bi-polar types out.

    Those are the big three. Everything else usually leads back to one or the other.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aggathon View Post
    You left out loot whores though. Unless I accidentally missed it.

    I guess so, although they could bcome under "crap stirrers" too, causing arguments over loot or harassing people to pass loot for them.
    Xanth <Valkyria>

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    Summer has a flipside where you have stellar attendance throughout, and then lose many people when school starts up again.
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  8. #8
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    As to cliques...I would like to add that there can also be issues where you have a core of folks who are exceptional players and then the others who are more casual (cannot contribute the time, tend to be less skilled at game play, are not fully aware of all the things going on around them.) Those exceptional players will naturally flock together, clear and progress on new content while others not part of the exceptional few are left to try and form their own group (speaking 10 mans here). This can create frustration on both sides...those who kick butt on 10s will grow frustrated that the guild may not perform in 25s to their level (and may not feel it is their responsibility to help the lesser skilled or committed players progress) and those that are not included in the exceptional team can become disgruntled at their exclusion and lack of progress. Can certainly contribute to an "us vs them" mentality, which cannot be good for overall guild health.

    I have seen it now in several guilds...it never seems to end well.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hellokitti View Post
    As to cliques...I would like to add that there can also be issues where you have a core of folks who are exceptional players and then the others who are more casual (cannot contribute the time, tend to be less skilled at game play, are not fully aware of all the things going on around them.) Those exceptional players will naturally flock together, clear and progress on new content while others not part of the exceptional few are left to try and form their own group (speaking 10 mans here). This can create frustration on both sides...those who kick butt on 10s will grow frustrated that the guild may not perform in 25s to their level (and may not feel it is their responsibility to help the lesser skilled or committed players progress) and those that are not included in the exceptional team can become disgruntled at their exclusion and lack of progress. Can certainly contribute to an "us vs them" mentality, which cannot be good for overall guild health.

    I have seen it now in several guilds...it never seems to end well.

    That falls under the "raiders" catergory. A further explanation being: Everyone in the guild who regularly raids need to be on roughly the same page when it comes to what they want to put in and get out of the guild. If 15 raiders are willing to give 100% every night, show up prepared, and do their own research on optomizing their raid role, they are going to be angry at the 10 who show up when they want, aren't prepared, or just don't care to optomize their toon.

    We had this happen not too long ago in Ulduar, and the shake-up caused us to pretty much halt progression with a few hardmodes left on the table (which to this day makes me a little mad). I ended up weeding out the half dozen or so "fair weather" raiders because although they were nice people, and contributed plenty to the guild atmosphere, their lack of enthusiasm at raid time was causing the dedicated raiders to become apathetic. Once they were out and freshly motivated recruits were in, we saw a lot more progress (until our more recent crisis due to the sad economy in this country, but that is another story for another thread) and better atmosphere all around.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proletaria View Post
    That falls under the "raiders" catergory. A further explanation being: Everyone in the guild who regularly raids need to be on roughly the same page when it comes to what they want to put in and get out of the guild. If 15 raiders are willing to give 100% every night, show up prepared, and do their own research on optomizing their raid role, they are going to be angry at the 10 who show up when they want, aren't prepared, or just don't care to optomize their toon.

    The thing is, unless you are doing the bleeding edge hard modes people arn't expecting the ultimate in min-max optimisation, but there can still be a huge gulf between effort spent. This is something that needs to be fixed by way of rules or rewards, because if a guild goes on letting the slackers slack the gap will easily cause guild failure through a falling out (ie. us and them) or the best players just leaving to challenge content with equals.

    I've experienced the situation from both directions in the both guilds i have ran, the first time everyone was connected by friendships pre-guild so there would be an obvious gulf and eventualy failure due to the demands of intial TBC content pre-nerf. However, the second time round a basic level of demands was placed such as having everything enchanted and gemmed, and it worked well to create an acceptable low without expecting everyone to be as hardcore as the best players who would, for example, chug flame caps on every progress fight.

    Of course, now we have hard modes the gap needs to be much much smaller to conquer them.
    Xanth <Valkyria>

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xianth View Post
    The thing is, unless you are doing the bleeding edge hard modes people arn't expecting the ultimate in min-max optimisation, but there can still be a huge gulf between effort spent. This is something that needs to be fixed by way of rules or rewards, because if a guild goes on letting the slackers slack the gap will easily cause guild failure through a falling out (ie. us and them) or the best players just leaving to challenge content with equals.

    I've experienced the situation from both directions in the both guilds i have ran, the first time everyone was connected by friendships pre-guild so there would be an obvious gulf and eventualy failure due to the demands of intial TBC content pre-nerf. However, the second time round a basic level of demands was placed such as having everything enchanted and gemmed, and it worked well to create an acceptable low without expecting everyone to be as hardcore as the best players who would, for example, chug flame caps on every progress fight.

    Of course, now we have hard modes the gap needs to be much much smaller to conquer them.
    You don't have to be on the bleeding edge for this issue to put a cramp in your guild's progression. I've seen it happen in guilds from Molten Chore on up to TOGC. Even more casual guilds will have an element that is just more interested than the bulk, and these players usually end up splintering. There isn't anything wrong with it. People will do what they want to accomplish their goals. But it does happen to everyone.

  12. #12
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    All good points listed above but I'll add one of the major concerns I've found in detail.

    Ultimately focus of a guild shifts as seen mainly between transformations from 10 to 25 man raiding guilds as well as the start of new expansions. Guilds are built to cater to a specific type of player. Though some guilds allow variance the main focus's are pretty clear. Once you try to overhaul that mentality (for instance going from casual to hard core raiding) you find resistance because many long standing members remained because of the way the guilds focus was before. Another instance is non raiding members because of, lets say time differances or work schedules, can't make your raid times but love the people then it shifts hard core raiding and business becomes about the raiding and regular guild activity to include basic conversations begins to leave those individuals out in the cold.

    That's just one example.

    Another would be lack of either guild management, officers competance, or simply time keeps the guild from evolving past one particular aspect and you find that many of your members get just plain burnt out. After wiping on one boss over and over again time after time or fast high weekly involvement in raiding forces constantly having to farm to keep up with the ever growing raid requirements and repair bills the game because a job more so then it's intent. And who wants to pay to go to work everyday? We have real life jobs for that and soon you find members getting burnt out of the enjoyment they once had.

    And last but not least:
    GM's who find themselves constantly taking charge of situations rather then putting the right people in leadership roles and teaching them how to deal with situations from the past as well as future events. To many times, and I find myself even guilty of this, GM's just want to get something done and fix mistakes right on the spot. Instead of chatting with the perspective officers and insuring they understand what needs to happen and deals with it for you. Especailly when an officer themselves make a mistake. Teach them and let them deal with it instead even if it was your idea because ultimately if the guild sees your the only one competent enough to handle their situations then no matter how minor they'll always come to you, never to them unless they have no choice and soon you find yourself overwhelmed with what could have been avoidable drama's and dilemma's.

    Obviously you don't want to delegate everything but task them with specific duties that they over see and let them take lead. Talk with them private if they are unsure about something and then let them present it to the individual or guild. A GM who never takes the spot light or solves situations will soon find the members wondering why they are following you instead of following that other officer which eventually leads to guild splits and breakoffs.

    There are many more I'm sure I can point out but I'm sure your eyes are already bleeding from this long winded post haha.
    As always you can find me on US Ysera Horde as the GM of Prevail.

  13. #13
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    I, unfortunately, have been a part of two unrelated guilds being destroyed by the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing - no, I was not involved as I am happily married. On both occassions, guild leader became boyfriend of a guildmate (an officer). I'm pretty sure it was just an online, long-distance kind of thing. In any event, while those relationships were going well, the guild was a happy place. However, when the relationships went sour (which, unfortunately, happens a great proponderence of the time when dealing with long-distance relationships especially), the guilds suffered immeasurably. In fact, both of the raiding guilds that it happened with (both top 30 raiding guilds on the server at the time) were destroyed. The whole boyfriend/girlfriend topic in raiding guilds presents a unique and often disastrous dynamic in my opinion and, although I'm all for spending time with your significant other gaming, find it better to subscribe to the "no fishing from the company pier" philosophy and wish people would employ it more (at least with raiding guilds).
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  14. #14
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    I'm not sure GM delegation is a problem by itself. I've been a tyrant GM with very few officers in the past and with the right group of people, it works wonders. On the same token, my present guild has twice as many officers as I used to and things run just as smoothly because that is what our guild likes.

    You can find a lot of things to kill a guild, it's a laundry list we could add to for years with symantics, special cases, and every new bit of fluff added to the game as times goes on. The bottom line is a guild functions to:

    Deliver what the guildies want on a schedule that they can all keep up with and in an environment that they can all deal with on a regular basis.

    If at any time the guild leadership isn't delivering, keeping the schedule, or making sure the environment is working for everyone: players are going to splinter.

    Wether that delivery is loot, raiding, rp, chatting on vent, 5-mans, pvp, or anything else you can think of: the guild has to keep it coming. Whether the schedule is 6nights a week or 1 afternoon a week, the guild has to make sure it is both regular and acceptable for it's raiders (adjusting as necessary for the majority).

    Facts are, guilds loose players even if everything is done right. You can't keep raiders from moving, getting new jobs, taking up other hobbies, or just loosing interest in whatever the guild is doing. While these things alone don't normally tank a guild, it's certainly possible that they could in the right scenario.

    Closing statment: Just make sure everyone knows what the guild is about when they join and be ready to handle the shake-up's that are bound to happen along the way to your goals.

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